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The Centaur's arrow ready seems to pierce
Some enemy: far forth his bow is bent Into the blue of heaven. He'll be shent, Pale unrelentor, When he shall hear the wedding lutes aplaying.Andromeda ! sweet woman! why delaying So timidly among the stars: come hither! Join this bright throng, and nimbly follow whither
They all are going.
Thee, gentle lady, did he disenthral:
No! those days are gone away,
No, the bugle sounds no more, And the twanging how no more; Silent is the ivory shrill Past the heath and up the hill; There is no mid-forest laugh, Where lone Echo gives the half To some wight, amaz'd to hear Jesting, deep in forest drear.
On the fairest time of June You may go, with sun or moon, Or the seven stars to light you, Or the polar ray to right you; But you never may behold Little John, or Robin bold; Never one, of all the clan, Thrumming on an empty can Some old hunting ditty, while He doth his green way beguile To fair hostess Merriment, Down beside the pasture Trent; For he left the merry tale Messenger for spicy ale.
Gone, the merry morris din; Gone, the song of Gamelyn; Gone, the tough-belted outlaw Idling in the "grené shawe;" All are gone away and past! And if Robin should be cast Sudden from his turfed grave, And if Marian should have Once again her forest days, She would weep, and he would craze : He would swear, for all his oaks, Fall'n beneath the dockyard strokes, Have rotted on the briny seas; She would weep that her wild bees Sang not to her-strange! that honey Can't be got without hard money!
So it is: yet let us sing, Honor to the old bow-string! Honor to the bugle-horn! Honor to the woods unshorn! Honor to the Lincoln green!
THE MERMAID TAVERN
SOULS of Poets dead and gone,
I have heard that on a day Mine host's sign-board flew away, Nobody knew whither, till An astrologer's old quill To a sheepskin gave the story, Said he saw you in your glory, Underneath a new old sign Sipping beverage divine, And pledging with contented smack The Mermaid in the Zodiac.
Souls of Poets dead and gone, What Elysium have ye known, Happy field or mossy cavern, Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern? 1818. 1820.
EVER let the Fancy roam,
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Open wide the mind's cage-door,
When the soundless earth is muffled,
Distant harvest-carols clear;
Sweet birds antheming the morn:
Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose;
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth